ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – During a typical spring break, about 80% of hotels are booked in Orlando’s tourism district, but this time last year the area’s $75 billion tourism industry came to a screeching halt. Tourism development tax collection showing only about 12% of hotels were booked in April 2020, a historic low, followed by historic closures of the major theme parks, including Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World executives went on a virtual media tour Wednesday, announcing a new spring break deal in an effort to lure tourists back in. Universal Orlando also announced new deals ahead of the season.
“For domestic travelers, there is a four-day, four-night room stay with a three-day ticket and you can get two additional days for free and that goes through September,” said Kenny Person, General Manager of Park Operations at Hollywood Studios.
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Person spoke to News 6 Thursday from Hollywood Studios following the park’s transformation there with the opening of Star War’s Galaxy’s Edge in October just months before the shutdown and the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which opened weeks before.
“It’s another great opportunity for our guests to explore and see something new if they haven’t been here over the last couple of years,” Person said. “Things look different but it’s still plenty of magic.”
Walt Disney World also announced its reopening of its water park Blizzard Beach on March 7, for the first time since the pandemic. Universal Resort also announced its reopening of Volcano Bay.
In attempts, to also lure in the spring break and summer crowds, Universal Resort announced a new ticket package earlier this week. Guests can soon take advantage of 40% off a four-day, four-night hotel and ticket vacation package starting at $1,388, after savings, based on a family of four.
According to the Daryl Cronk, the Director of Market Research and Insights at Visit Orlando, these moves from the theme parks come at the perfect time considering what consumer research is showing in regard to traveler sentiment. Visit Orlando saying advance bookings show as the vaccine roll-out continues, tourists will feel more comfortable traveling farther from home.
“It goes in line with some of the news we are seeing in some of the consumer research,” Cronk said. “Seeing that positive trend in consumer sentiment suggests now is the time to be out there and urge them to select Orlando as their destination whether it’s spring break or summer.”